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Hearing Pulse in Ear
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Hearing Pulse in Ear

Thank you for taking my question. I have researched my problem online, and am not sure I fit into the category of pulsatile tinnitus.  I am 35, female and always had allergies and sinus problems. In the past two weeks we have vacationed up in the mountains and done a lot of swimming.  I generally have ear infections in the summer months.  Two years ago I had an MRI done because of headaches and it was normal.  Last summer, while pregnant, I had an episode of vertigo that Neurology at UF diagnosed as BPV, no scan was done because of the pregnancy and because when they doctor tilted my head a certain way the vertigo started.  It cleared on its own.  Now my problem is in the opposite ear.  I noticed at bedtime I could faintly hear my pulse in my left ear, I don't hear it any other time except while laying in bed and even that isn't constant.  It does seem better with my steroid nasal spray and Advil Sinus. An internet search brings up some pretty frightening things, but I'm not sure that occasionally hearing your pulse in your ear is something that would be classified as pulsatile tinnitus?  I had extensive hearing tests done by an ENT shortly after I had my son because of the episode of BPV, and my hearing was excellent.  Is it normal to occasionally hear your pulse?  I'm thinking due to my sinus and allergy problems, I may have some fluid in my ear?  I can ocassionally hear it in my right ear if I have just ran up a flight of stairs?  I am really worried about this and will see my family doctor if it persists - but I wanted to gather your input.  Thank you.
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There can be many disorders that can lead to tinnitus.  This can vary from vascular disorders (like arterial bruits, AV malformations, venous hums), neurological disorders, or disorders within the ear.  If there is a concern about pulsatile tinnitus, this needs to be fully evaluation - since it is associated with vascular disorders.

MR angiography or CT angiography can be considered to evaluate for these causes.  This option can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
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I am a 36 year old female really wanting some answers with a problem I have had now for 7 years.  When I turn my head 90 degrees left, right or look straight up, stand up normally from a seated position, or lie on my stomach with elbows proped up, I first feel and hear a sudden loss of hearing, followed by pulsating sound, like head pounding, then develop an ocular migrane (migraine).  I have had all the usual test done via the Navy, to include CT scans, MRI,ENT and extensive visits wiht a neuroligist.  They cannot figure out what is going on with me and told me I should try to learn to live with it.  It bothers me because I cannot stay as active as I want to because my symptoms get worse an hour or two after excersizing.  I dont feel dizzy, or nausiated.  It feels like someone is chocking me around the neck, like blood flow is diminished to my head.  Any help would be appreciated.
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